One Westside girl has accomplished some remarkable achievements through her dedication to the Girl Guides of Canada program.
Over the last seven years Lauren Barnard has participated in sparks, brownies and guides.
Barnard recently completed her third and final year as a guide in the Naitaka District in West Kelowna.
In June, Barnard received the Lady Baden-Powell Challenge Pin, the highest award a guide can earn. The requirements included completing the guide program and participating in a major community service project.
While completing the award requirements Barnard earned all 83 of the special interest badges available for guides, so many she wears them over two sashes
Barnard also earned all 82 available badges while in brownies.
“I knew in my first year of guides that I wanted to earn all the badges,” she said. “I liked having all of them in brownies and I wanted to do it again.”
The more difficult badges needed to be completed on holidays and with the help of family and friends.
Earning the special interest badges allowed Barnard to explore new topics and sparked her interest in subjects such as astronomy.
Barnard’s favourite badge to earn was sailing, as it took her out on a boat on the Pacific Ocean with her family.
“I loved sitting at the bow and going over the waves and seeing all the porpoises chase the boat,” she said.
In 2018 Barnard received a Girl Greatness Award for Resourcefulness from Girl Guides of Canada, awarded to five girls a year Canada-wide.
Barnard earned the award by using the self-defence skills she gained from the guiding program after being approached by an unknown man in a parking lot. The stranger tried to convince her to come with him and even reached out to grab her, but Barnard knew what to do to get away and what to do once she was safe.
Barnard also gives back to the guiding program by volunteering with the First Westbank Sparks, getting to know the girls and helping them with crafts and activities.
Although cookie sales are not her favourite part of guiding, Barnard loves the activities, programs and camps available because of the money raised from the sales.
Her favourite camp was Camp Olave on the B.C. coast where she experienced a rain forest for the first time and kayaked on the ocean.
Barnard is looking forward to moving into Pathfinders in the fall with a program of new challenges and travelling on an international trip in 2020 with other Pathfinders from the Naitaka District.